Protecting the workstation from physical and electronic theft

Here is some advice for keeping the data on your PCs physically and electronically safe.



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There are two ways to access information: Physical, being on the computer which has the information and electronic, being on another station through hacking or other relatad process.

The first problem could be solved several ways:

  • Locate the workstation where it it visible but not in an active area where everyone can pass by or stand about passing time.
  • Physically lock out the device.
  • Use electronic passwords, etc.
  • Code and hide important files on unexpected "program files," give them numeral designations instead of phonetic names, and add .exe or .gif, etc. filenames to further wayward unexpected visitors.
  • Store important files on rewritable CDs instead of the hard drive, and keep them a safe place.

    For Net hackers:

  • It is possible to install a toggle switch to the telephone/modem line so that the computer will only be accessible to the Net if this switch is on.
  • This switch also doubles as a panic button, should you sense an unauthorized up or download. Although this switch is a useless defense against sleeper programs that send out information the moment you go online (that's another problem), this will give you a chance to correct for such probability before going in.
  • You may want to install a timer to this switch so that the computer may become available on the Net for a certain span of time, which only you will know of.
  • Use this with other appropriate electronic firewalls and counter measures to increase your security.
  • Know your programs/software well. Any file not related or used should be immediately deleted.
  • Record a tree of your system and counter check this record every once in awhile to help identify rogue files. Be especially aware of bytes used.
  • This was first published in April 2002

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